316 - Just Promoted Do's and Dont's - John Laurito
Episode 316 Just Promoted Dos and Donts Tomorrows Leader Podcast with John Laurito

316 – Just Promoted Do’s and Dont’s

After tons of hard work and multiple conversations with your manager, you’ve finally been promoted. It’s time to plan out your new role, figure out how you will make a positive impact, and prove that you deserve this promotion. Today host John Laurito shares what you should and shouldn’t do when you get promoted. These are things that will help you transition into your new role, ensuring your short-term and long-term success.

[0:00] Intro

[1:19] A short trip

[3:12] You’ve just been promoted

[4:33] DONT: Mimic what your boss did when they were in that role

[6:16] DONT: Listen to other people’s opinions

[8:55] DONT: Make withdrawals before you’ve made deposits into the emotional bank accounts

[9:41] DO: Get to know the organization

[11:18] DO: Clarify and communicate the vision

[12:53] DO: Make changes swiftly

[13:50] DO: Find your key influencers

[15:09] DO: Build your team the right way

[17:01] Outro

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John Over the last two decades, I’ve been on an insatiable quest to learn everything I can about leadership. What makes the best leaders so good? After running companies small and large over the last 20 years, today I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name is John Laurito. I’m your host, and I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this very topic and what makes the best leader so good. Welcome to tomorrow’s leader. All right. Tomorrow’s leaders. How are you? Welcome to the show. My name’s John Laurito. I am your host, and I’m going to take you on this journey. I’ll be with you for the next ten or 15 minutes with our normal just chock full of content episodes. I’ve got lots to share with you. I’ve got a, like, legit a laundry list of topics that I’m going to go through, not in one show, but to break it up into a lot of different shows just because I’ve been traveling. And so when I travel, I get away from the studio and I build up all these ideas about there, seeing people and seeing things that are going on and getting ideas and all this kind of stuff. So main event, I’m here on a Friday afternoon. This is production time. This weekend will be production time. But I got to say, this really cool thing. I came back, I was in Long Island. Long Island for a day. Great place. And I love those trips where you swoop in and out. I had a speaking engagement there, 6 a.m. flight, got there, did my thing, hung out for a few hours and then back in a plane home by like eight at night, same day. 

John Kind of cool. But I saw something I like I never knew existed. If you’re in JFK Airport, for those of you in New York or travel through New York, you may be like, you know, Laurito, hello, we knew this is there. I had no idea. But in terminal five, if you’re ever there, check this out. If you don’t if you haven’t been there. But there’s like it’s this TBWA it’s the I guess it’s the old terminal for TWC Airlines. And obviously the VA is out of business, but they’ve converted this to a hotel and it’s all preserved and it’s all this retro stuff. It is literally when I say it’s like stepping back in time, it’s the closest thing I’ve ever been to to being at a time machine. And I didn’t want to leave. I literally didn’t want to leave. You walk down these hallways, they’re all like carpeted red carpeting, and it feels like you’re in a spaceship. And then you enter this hotel lobby and it’s the terminal and it’s got all the ticker tapes that, you know, the old style, you know, boards that had the flight information where they’re flipping the, you know, the letters and stuff and it’s making all this cool noise. I mean, really amazing stuff. And the furniture is all retro, the bar, everything. Like, it’s just amazing, amazing, amazing, amazing. So if you get a chance, then you’re flying through there. Give yourself a little extra time in the airport, terminal five to a hotel lobby area. Really, really cool. So, okay, today’s topic, I want to go through something that and again, this is something I hope this is an episode that you save because you’re going to be going through this at some point in the near future if you’re listening to it, maybe this has just happened to you. 

John But I want to go through you’ve just been promoted and what are the things that you need to do? What are the what are kind of the do’s and don’ts? And I got to just preface this was saying I’ve been through many promotions. I’ve promoted many people. I’ve seen many people go through promotions. So this is from my own personal experience as well as observation, as well as working with people, working with clients, all kinds of stuff. And I’ve seen incredible success and I’ve seen disasters with people getting promoted and doing the right things or not doing the right things or totally doing the wrong things. So I figured, you know what? I got this podcast platform. Let me share this, my thoughts, this, this info with you in terms of what I think are the do’s and don’ts and the things that will help make you successful in your new role. And there’s so much to this. So I’m going to break this up into what I think are the most critical things. This is not an end all this this is just kind of the core things that are really critical. So let me start with the don’ts. Okay? This is the easy stuff, but it may not be be obvious. And this first one is one that I got caught up in a couple of different times because it’s so easy to to to think about this, especially if you’re getting promoted and you’re now in a situation of taking your boss’s old role. Maybe your boss got promoted or something. Anyways, you’ve been working under somebody, you’re now taking their role. There’s a natural tendency to want to do the role just like they did it. In other words, kind of mimic them, especially if they were successful and they got promoted. 

John Your natural tendency is to say, okay, let me mimic and replicate everything that they did. In reality, that’s not the way to do it. You’ve got to be yourself, and I want you to go into that role thinking of it like a blank slate. And don’t assume that everything that your boss was doing was actually the best or even the right way to do it. There may be much better ways to do it, and it may not. Even if it did work, it may not just be your style. In other words, your boss, the old boss might have been somebody who was really down in the weeds and really kind of a micromanager. And that’s if that’s not you or, you know, that’s not maybe may not be what this culture or this organization really calls for. You can’t do that. That’s just not going to be you. Bottom line is you have to look at the role almost like a blank canvas and say, okay, what is this really require? What do I need to do to be successful? Don’t worry so much about trying to mimic your boss and expect that you’re going to do things different game. And I’m going to talk about that in a little bit as well. The second thing, don’t listen to other people’s opinions on what the strengths and weaknesses are and who the good people are and the bad people. And who’s your future leaders? Don’t listen to anybody else’s assessment. It’s okay to you have to get facts, look at numbers, get facts. And if you do end up hearing other people’s opinions on things, the other leader is intent on sharing you. Hey, let me give you the scoop and the lay of the land. 

John Take it with a grain of salt. Form your own opinions. I said this in an episode a while back. I remember a time taking over an organization and the prior leader told me this one person was like my future superstar and this other person was kind of on their way out. It could not have been more wrong that this person could not have been more wrong. It was the opposite. The star was the person, this person, and the issue was the prior leader had a totally different style than I had. He was super hyper analytic. He was a micromanager. He resisted that. My style was totally different. So he just gelled with this other person. But the other person wasn’t a good leader. It just was somebody that he felt comfortable with and would have promoted had he stayed. So what I did was I ended up spending like two months going down the wrong direction because I kind of took his word for it. And I just started, you know, doing things, investing time with in certain areas, with certain people, and it just could not have been more wrong. So it set me back a few months by the time I realized, you know, what, his assessment was totally wrong. So going in with a blank slate, form your own opinions, the blank slate mentality, you’ve tabi talk about the concept of zero based budgeting, which means don’t do anything because it’s just because it’s been done and it’s always been done that way. For example, you know, I always go in and when I did go into a new role as being a promotion, yeah, there were some things I wanted to try to keep consistent, but only if they’re working. Don’t assume that you have to have a two hour weekly meeting just because your other leader, the other leader had it and everybody’s already used to it. 

John That might not be the right way to do it. I just saw there was a leader that I know of that came into an organization and he cut down meetings significantly because they just were not needed. We didn’t have to have certain meetings every week. We needed them once a month and he made the change and freed up time for everybody. Wow, what a great welcome change that was. So again, don’t do things just for the sake of continuing to do them just because they’ve always been done that way. Here’s the other thing. Don’t make withdrawals, withdrawals, withdrawals. It’s a tough word to say withdrawals before. You’ve made deposits and an emotional bank account. I think that makes sense as you can kind of understand what I’m talking about. But there are things that you can do that will make deposits into the emotional bank accounts of the people that you are overseeing. And there are things you can do to make withdrawals to tough decisions, whatever it is, tough actions, things that you’re doing that are ultimately withdrawals. It’s like a bank account. You can overdraft the bank account the same way you can overdraft the emotional bank account. Go in there with the intent to make deposits, deposits, deposits. It’s about deposits. Now, let me talk about some of the dos that are really key. What I’ve seen great leaders do when they walk into a promotion is number one is you got to get to know the organization. You’ve got to get to know the people. You’ve got to build relationships. You have to invest time in getting to understand people and again, form your own opinions. Don’t listen to all the press, because most of the time I find that it sways you one way or the other and it’s wrong. 

John Four Take the time and do the things you need to do to form your own opinions on really what’s happening in the organization. You know who’s doing what? What’s the pulse of the organization? What’s the satisfaction level? What’s the moan? Rate everything. Do skip level meetings. Don’t just meet with your direct reports. Take some time to do skip level meetings. And just again, take the pulse of the organization. That’s all part of what a new leader should do. I know a CEO that came in to run a company that spent like a year just getting to know everybody in the organization. I mean, just meeting with everybody, as many people as he could. And. Wow, but the heat, the heat. Now, that was a lot of time. But and it wasn’t like he didn’t do anything until he got them those meetings. He did it just alongside of his every day role. But it gave him such a really great glimpse into what were the true issues of the organization. A lot of times leaders that just rely on the people below them, at one level they’re getting only part of the story. They’re not really, truly there getting what information that team wants to share with you. That’s not really the true total picture. So invest the time in getting to know people and asking the right questions. The other key thing you have to do when you’re taking over a role in your newly promoted is clarify and communicate the vision people need to understand because anytime there’s a change, you’re coming in. They don’t know you. Or if they do know you, they don’t know what you’re going to be like in this role. There’s a little bit, if not a lot of anxiety that’s created by you coming into this role. 

John No matter how great you are, no matter how good or bad the prior leader was, it’s just change. And people feel like they’ve got to, Hey, you know what? I’ve now got to earn my stripes again. I’ve got to. This person doesn’t know me. That’s fine. Take your time to get to know this person. Look at the facts. Look at performance that’s happened in the past and form your own opinion. But the key thing is clarify and communicate the vision. Where’s the organization going? Where did different career paths lead? In your mind? What is what is the future of the role that you’re taught these people that you’re talking to? What do you see it as? Those things are inspiring for people to understand. A new leader coming in. I’ll tell you, that’s probably the biggest question on people’s mind is, okay, where do he or she where does he or she want to take this organization or see us going? They just they want to know. It’s like they’re on a plane and there’s a new pilot that’s come in that, you know, has the ability to take us to a whole new destination. Well, I’d. I’d like to know where we’re going. Right. So that that’s the key thing, because people are asking themselves, okay, do I want to go where this leader wants to take me? They’re not going to answer that question until they’ve until they know where you want to take them. Here’s another thing. Make changes swiftly. Don’t rush to make them. But don’t deliberately slow things down because you don’t know how they’re going to respond to change. One of the mistakes I made in one of my promotions was, looking back, I should have made the changes. 

John Some of them took me a year to make, and I could have made them in two or three months. So why not? Whether they were personnel changes or structure changes or directional changes, if I knew that’s what we were going to do, why not make the changes earlier and get a head start on that? Now there are a lot of factors to take into account when you’re making changes in an organization, but don’t let that thought of your mind. I don’t know how people are going to receive this caused you to delay making changes that you really know you need to make. Okay. Make them swiftly and make them cleanly. Here’s another really, really big thing. Here’s a must do. You’ve got to find your key influencers in that organization. You have got to find the people. And their may may not be in any kind of formal leadership role. Find the people that are the. Leaders among their peers find the people that when people have a question in their room of people. Where do people’s eyes go to? Who’s whose facial expressions are they watching among their peers? Those are the leaders in the organization. Think about that. You can also you get seen in a room of 50 people. You can spot who the leaders are just based on who the people look at. Those are your influential people because they’re trying to get get a read on them. That’s what they’re trying to do is understand what well, what what’s what’s, you know, Nancy thinking and what’s, you know, what’s build thinking that’s going to form my opinion or influence my opinion. Those are the people that you need to get in touch with and get close with Nancy and Bill, their influencers in your organization. 

John And when you want to make change, whether it’s a culture change or a policy change or process change or product change or anything. These are the people who are going to help you do it or not. They’re going to be the ones that fight you and hurt your ability to do it. You’ve got to get those people into your circle and into your corner as much as you can. And lastly, one of the most important critical things a new leader can do in an organization in a role, is you have to build your team the right way. It is all about there’s nothing more important than getting the right people in your team and the wrong people off your team. But it’s about getting the right people on your team, doing the right things. If that happens and you’ve got a great vision and a clear vision and a clear direction, wow. There is just you’ve got so much momentum and such an advantage there that is absolutely critical. So so really take the time to figure out, do you have the right people? And if you do, are those people in the right roles doing the right things, empowered to do the right things? Because a lot of time people are in the right people, in the right roles, but they just don’t have enough power or they’re not empowered enough to make decisions and do enough, in which case you run the risk of losing them. That’s key. So this I know is kind of a high level thing, but I wanted to squeeze in in a 15 or minutes, 16 minutes. There’s so much more here. So reach out to me if you’re in the situation you’ve got in a promotion, I’m thinking about actually putting a mastermind together of people that are new to a certain role and get them together. 

John I’d love to get your feedback on this, get them together and talk through some of this. What are some of the challenges and issues? What are you finding success with? I think it’d be really cool. Even people or not even people from all different industries too. Like that would be wow would would a cool thing and do a lot of leadership development coaching work with that type of group of people I think we really need. So let me know what you think of that idea. Okay. As always, thank you for listening. I hope this was valuable. Like share, subscribe, all that kind of good stuff. Go down below, give a five star review and have a great weekend, have a great day, whatever, whatever time of day or day week you’re listening to this. Have a great one and we’ll see you next time. Thanks. 

John Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader. For suggestions or inquiries about having me at your next event or personal coaching, reach me at John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks, lead on!

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